The second in our series on precision chambering and fitting of rifle barrels.
by Chick Blood
In Part One we introduced The Complete Illustrated Guide to Precision Rifle Barrel Fitting by John Hinnant, a superb book on barreling. By now, I hope you have either made or purchased a barrel vise, one of the two indispensable hand tools required. The second indispensable hand tool is a receiver wrench. A strong, well-constructed receiver wrench is every bit the necessity as the vise and must be even more flexible in its design to be adaptable to a multiplicity of rifles.
In two areas, the fabrication of the vise and wrench share methodology. The wrench jaws are made the same as was outlined for the vise base and sliding plates. To repeat myself, drilling and boring for wrench jaws mirror the preparation of vise clamp blocks. The bored dimension illustrated matches the diameter of the Kleinendorst Remington 700 barrel tool that is available from Brownells. The tool holds the recoil lug in alignment when installing the barrel. If you work exclusively on Model 700 rifles you’ll never need different wrench jaws, however, there is no sound reason why you should limit your capabilities and your business to only fitting rifle barrels to the Model 700.
I have a sound reason to believe every one of our members is aware all rifle receivers aren’t round like a Remington. Some are round at the top and flat on the bottom. In these cases the bushing has to be turned to the correct outside diameter – not bored to that diameter – then split in half, fit into one of the wrench jaws and filed or milled flush. The Ruger 77, Sako and Shilen DGA require two flat jaw bushings. The same is true for lever and single shot actions. You see, using a receiver wrench capable of accepting different configurations between its jaws as does the design offered by Brownells opens your door to a near limitless list of rifle lovers. Just as important, these receiver wrench bushings should be made of steel, not aluminum.
Read more in our May 2014 issue. Back issues are available.